News and Blog

Music Covers: Pros and Cons

Pros & Cons

Music Covers: Pros and Cons

In the world of the music industry, there are a lot of people racing to get their songs on the charts. Composers pour all their efforts and creativity into one piece, hoping it will get good feedback from society, but music covers can be very popular in the music industry. Music covers are new performances or recordings by a musician other than the original performer or composer of the song. A lot of people use it to pour their creativity and arranging skills onto other people’s pieces. But have you ever considered what it could do to the composer or artist? Are you helping them increase the chart? Or worse, are you taking away their career?

A music cover is not always just people rearranging songs or playing the song the same way as the original; it can also be a dance cover using the song as a backing track. Nowadays, thousands of people are doing music covers on multiple digital platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok,  etc. Some artists encourage their fans to cover their songs by making challenges or dance routines to the song so that more people can be reached through that song. This kind of situation happens a lot in the K-pop industry.

Other than the listeners making covers, there are a lot of artists who also cover other artists, which can have a positive effect on the composer. We can take a look at one of the cases, a song called Tomboy by Destiny Rogers that was used for Lisa Blackpink’s dance cover. Lisa used that song for accompaniment to her dance cover, and the song gained a lot more listeners in a few days. Therefore, music covers can have a positive effect on a song or the artist itself.

As a side effect, music covers can be dangerous for an artist. Other than the fact that music covers can make a song more popular, sometimes people only know the harmony or melody of it without knowing the person behind the masterpiece. Worse, people usually only know who covers the song without knowing or listening to the original singer. Therefore, this kind of situation can threaten the reputation of the artist. We can also look at some cases, such as Dove Cameron’s cover of Genie in a Bottle by Christina Aguilera or, more popularly, Whitney Huston’s cover of I Will Always Love You by Dolly Parton, etc. As a result of covers being made without telling the original artist, this kind of case can turn into piracy.

In conclusion, music covers can have both negative and positive effects depending on how we publish them as musicians or how we see things as listeners. As musicians, we don’t want our pieces to be claimed by someone else, so we have to prevent ourselves from doing that to other people too. To avoid piracy, we can always list the original maker of the song and let the listeners know that it’s a cover and not our original song. Let’s spread awareness about how to publish covers so we can avoid piracy.

Written by Maria Clarissa Shan (12th Grade Student)